Recent Landscape Work

So I know I have not written too many posts regarding my landscape work but here is a swift update as to what and where i have been shooting. (with a few examples). I’ve recently updated some of my filters to incorporate more Lee filters, specifically the medium grad ND set as well as the Super stopper (which cuts out 15 stops of light without casing undue colour shifts). Ive been to Wales, Yorkshire, Mallorca and Cornwall lately and my kit has obviously travelled with me. below is a few examples of recent work, more can be seen on my website which is always being updated. Amongst one of the recent changes is is a link to buy my prints, which i am happy to say is going well. I won’t give you the sales pitch, so if you would like a print of mine that isn’t on the list, then email me (info@jespermattias.com ) the image you like and i will add it in and you can purchase it, sisal after 2-3 business days. Link to print section is here ( print sales )

Anyway, back to the matter in hand. Attached are some recent images, more can be seen here ( Landscapes )

Image 1: Sennen at Sunset.

This was shot on the clips overlooking Sennen Cove. The heather was in full bloom and literally covered the cliffs with a rich, deep purple colour which lit up with the warmth of the setting sun behind it. I used my Lee Hard Grad 0.9 ND here, to bring back the sky.

 

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Image 2: Pembrokeshire estuary at sunset.

I spent a week on the Pembrokeshire coast in October of this year. the weather was shocking, but a few nights the clouds cleared and i was able to get out and take some landscapes. This was taken on the Atlantic Ocean estuary, a very peaceful and remote part of Pembrokeshire. Again, i used a 0.9 Hard grad ND filter from Lee Filters to balance sky and horizon.

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Image 3. Malham Cove.MalhamCove3LRWB copy.jpg

A very popular location for landscape work. This Yorkshire landmark is stunning so you can see why photographers flock there. It was a relatively stormy day which added a lot of interest to the sky. I used my 0.6 Hard Grad ND for the sky here to darken it slightly to add more mood to the shot. In all these images I used my canon 5Dsr and my Zeiss f2.8 21mm Distagon Lens, which is really my go-to lens for landscape work (wide angle use anyway). it really is a beautifully shape lens. Looking at getting the wider version soon, 18mm I believe.

 

Please visit my site if you have time and leave comments, always appreciated. Thanks for looking!

Tower Bridge and the Shard building, London

I was shooting for a client a few months ago and wanted to capture the new Shard building as well as Tower Bridge. I knew I would need my tripod (I never take a landscape without a tripod) and possibly a few Graduated ND filters. I wanted the lights of the city to come on so I had to wait…..

An hour and a half later, the lights came on, it got a lot colder and i was just at the right moment where the blue of the sky was dark enough that it would still come through after a long exposure. I wanted the Thames to turn to mist and the lights of the cars to streak over the bridge. It turned out to be about a 2 minute exposure, which i think worked fine.I Also used a ND8 filter to cut the light down.

It was also one of those rare images for me that did not require hardly any post work to it. Usually I prefer to capture it all in camera, that goes for my portrait work too, photographers have become too reliant on CS5 and forgotten that you can (with enough knowledge and patience) get it right in camera. Not sure what I will do this image yet, one for the wall and possibly one for my agency, hope you like it!

Sorry for the copyright writing.. hope it doesn’t detract from the image..Tower Bridge and the Shard

Landscapes for St Katharine’s Dock

A regular client of mine asked me to get involved on the photography side of things for the recently bought St Katharine’s Dock which sits hidden in the shadow of Tower bridge and a near stones throw from the new Shard building as well as other iconic buildings like the Gherkin. It is a real hidden gem of a place as it really feels tucked out of the way from the hustle of London. The task was to shoot landscapes of the dock at various times of the day, but preferably when the sun was shining and the sky was at its bluest, nobody likes a dreary grey London!

One of the biggest challenges with shooting buildings and water together is often that the reflections are at least 2 stops darker than the buildings being reflected… This throws up a few problems and a number of subsequent solutions can be utilised..

1. You can either bracket your images, taking the best above ground exposure and the best below ground exposure and marrying then up, this can be tricky as it means a lot of post production and sometimes just not feasible if there isn’t a clean horizon line which, in my case there wasn’t.

OR

2. You can use Graduated ND (Neutral Density) filters. This for me was the best solution, it meant i could darken down the top half  and make it look both natural and it would all be done in camera (the less post the better, the problem with digital photography compared to film is over reliance on Photoshop).

This was how i proceeded with the landscapes, using a variety of grades of filter (ND Grad 0.6 and a ND Grad 0.3 and sometimes a combination of the two) a camera cloth to throw over the camera to assess exposures, which can be tricky in bright sunlight, a firm tripod and a cable release).

Below is one of the images… enjoy.St Katharine's Dock Landscape ecample

#Landscapes 2

Whenever I shoot a landscape that I think will look better in black and white than colour (which happens a lot), I always shoot it in colour first. I find when converting a colour image to black and white and then adjusting the black and white in the… image-> adjustments ->black and white, this gives you so much control over the former colour in the photograph, by being able to adjust the reds, greens, yellows for example which affect only certain areas of the image by lightening and darkening them. This can lead to amazing control over the image and gives the image a much more visceral appearence. It is hard to go to somewhere like Yosemite and not come back with a load of images that resemble Ansel Adams so all you can do is find something interesting and wait for the light to be just right. This image (Americana 15), was all about the reflection, but it is one of those image that takes a while to work out what exactly is going on. No wonder he spent his whole life in the Sierra Nevadas, if i had the chance i probably would too.

Americana 15

#Landscapes 1

Americana8

A recent trip to California meant I was fortunate enough to go to Yosemite, one of the most stunning places in the world and if (like me) you are a fan of landscape photography then its a veritable mecca. I tried to do justice to one of the most famous landscape photographers who have gone before me, Ansel Adams. For this shot it was all split really, between what was going on above the water and what as going on in the reflections. I shot this image as two separate exposures and spliced them together. The water itself was quite murky so the exposure would have naturally been darker so by doing a few brackets I got the right exposure for the image. Whenever I try and shoot a landscape I try and make it as three dimensional as possible, for black and white images this is done by trying to build up the tonality of the image. Like the master printers gone before me, you dodge and burn areas to enhance the image and for me this shot was no different. I worked on the lighter and darker areas till i was satisfied the print was enhanced to the point where it was visually more impressive yet didn’t have a overly worked feel to it. Hope you like the results..

A shoot for a PR firm..

This was a shoot for a new Client, they wanted to convey the sense of freedom associated with new software that meant large volumes of ring binders could be a thing of the past as it was all accessible on the iPad. The ideas was a simple one, to convey this visually in still life format as well as a shot with a “model” posing with it (model1b). The light for this was relatively straight forward, a soft light at the front and a couple of heads to clean up the background to free up shadows. The still life (Image1a), was just a little flash to clean up the front and a soft light at the back to balance the light from the front and back. The screen was included in the background so the client could drop in a screen shot onto the iPad as well as the TV to convey the usability of the product.

Image1a

Image1a

AXA Portrait Shoot

A couple of weeks ago saw me shooting for the lovely folks at AXA Rosenburg, a San Francisco based company started by a hippy over 20 years ago. Like a lot of start ups in that era it has done rather well… in the same ilk as Apple, Microsoft etc. The shoot was 6 portraits of high flying employees.  The style that they wanted was very much a shallow depth of field with a blown out background. For a shoot like this I try and shoot on F2.8 on a long lens (between 160mm to 200mm), This allows me to get a maximum (or should that be minimum) depth of field. For the majority of the portraits I tried to balance the daylight with the flash which was positioned above the camera on a boom (see image 1) and a reflector below the camera out of shot to try and flick some light up into the eyes as well as under the chin. There were two locations for the shoot and due to a bizarre and overly sophisticated fire alarm system I could not use flash, so daylight it was. There was a lot of green flying around so there was a bit of post to do on the image by removing green from it, but the end result was great, a nice portrait that wasn’t too corporate. (See  image2). Sometimes shooting in a room with lots of glass can be tricky due to the reflections you can get but as long as you use egg crates in the soft box, a polarising filter or you simply burn out the window light this usually isn’t a problem.

Image 2

Image 2

Image 1

Image 1